||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010)|
Michael Lepond playing live in Novara, Italy
|Birth name||Michael Anthony LePond III|
|Born||February 17, 1966|
|Origin||Newark, New Jersey, USA|
|Associated acts||Symphony X, Distant Thunder, Dead on Arrival, Rattlebone, Cheap N Nasty, Metal Mike Chlasciak, Sleepy Hollow, Seven Witches, Holy Force, Affector, Rivera/Bomma, Operatika, Helstar|
Michael Anthony LePond III (born February 17, 1966 in Newark, New Jersey) is the bass guitar player of the North American progressive metal band Symphony X, and also is the bassist for Dead on Arrival, a heavy metal band from New York. The group issued an album - Alive and Kickin’ - on the independent Polo label in 1996. He can be heard on all Symphony X releases since and including V: The New Mythology Suite. He also used to play in a New Jersey band called Rattlebone, which opened for many national acts and released a six-song album themselves in 1997.
Michael LePond was born in Newark, New Jersey. When he was 13 years old, he went to see Kiss in concert and was heavily influenced by the band and - specifically - bassist Gene Simmons. He bought some basic equipment (a Univox bass and a 150 watt amplifier) and took lessons for a year. He started listening to other bass players like Geddy Lee (Rush) that influenced his style.
In 1998 he met Symphony X guitarist Michael Romeo through a mutual friend and was invited to audition since original bassist Thomas Miller had left the band. He got the spot and has remained with the band ever since.
In 2012, he formed a Progressive metal supergroup named Affector with drummer Collin Leijenaar, vocalist Ted Leonard and guitarist Daniel Fries. The band's debut album "Harmagedon" was released on May 21. Special guest keyboardists for the album include Jordan Rudess, Derek Sherinian, Neal Morse and Alex Argento
Past health issues
In 2006, Michael LePond developed Crohns Disease, forcing Symphony X to cancel all of their European shows. He went through surgery to control the effects of the disease and by May 31, 2006 he announced on the website that he would be fully recovered in 6 weeks.
|“||Hello to Everyone !!!
I want you all to know that I had my surgery and have been released from the hospital. I am feeling so much better now. I am eating normally and getting stronger with each passing day. I should be fully recovered in about 3 weeks. I want to thank all of the fans who sent get well wishes to me. I will read every single one of them. I will never forget how kind and caring you are. I love you all...
Mike LePond's Silent Assassins
On 21 August, it was announced that Lepond would be releasing his first solo album, Mike LePond's Silent Assassins. The album, set for a September 26, 2014 release, is expected to contain nine tracks and the guest performances of guitarist Mike Chlasciak (Halford, Testament), lead guitarist, drum producer and Symphony X bandmate Michael Romeo, and vocalist Alan Tecchio (Hades, Watchtower). Lepond himself will play the bass and rhythm guitar.
LePond has mentioned several bass players as his main influences. Among those he mentions in the Symphony X website are:
|“||Geddy Lee inspired me because of his incredible sense of melody. Geezer Butler influenced me in the way he was able to incorporate blues into a heavy metal form. Steve Harris blew me away with his right hand technique and guitar-like riffing. Joey Demaio taught me the power of bass chords and introduced me to his grand medieval melodies on his eight string.||”|
For the Paradise Lost album, he used a Caparison Dellinger bass, Madison 8x10 cabinet and a Tech 21 RBI preamp. Live, he uses a Fender Precision bass and a Hamer Cruise as backup, amplified by an Ampeg 4x10 Classic cabinet and an Ampeg B2-R head. In the past he has been known to use Hamer Scarab and Musicman Sterling basses.
- Hill, Gary. "Biography: Michael Lepond". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- Huey, Steve. "Biography: D.O.A. (Dead on Arrival)". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- "Seven Witches: New Album, DVD Update". Blabbermouth. October 5, 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- "Symphony X Bassist Is 'Fully Recovered' After Undergoing Crohn's Disease-Related Surgery". Blabbermouth. July 20, 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2010.
- "Symphony X Bassist MIKE LEPOND To Release 'Silent Assassins' Solo Album In September". Blabbermouth.net. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.